Soldiers on the Cultural Front versus Engineers of the Human Soul
This concluding chapter summarizes the book's major findings and reconsiders the commonalties and specifics of North Korean literature in comparison with the Soviet model. It discusses the newly born North Korean Communist regime's decision to “learn from the Soviets” by adopting the theory and practice of Soviet “socialist realism” as a political and artistic strategy. Through various channels of influence, including large-scale translations of Soviet literature and the activity of Soviet Koreans as living carriers of Soviet values, the North Korean literary and political world was able to absorb the Stalinist principles of managing culture and intellectuals. This transformed the North Korean literary cadre into yet another example of “engineers of the human soul,” or “soldiers on the cultural front.” This chapter also highlights some disparities between the literary politics of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the USSR.
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